Hi, everyone! As promised in the last blog, we’re going to cover the MC/IC axis. I know I said we would do Chart Rulership too, but I think it’s going to be a more natural fit for what I’m going to cover in the next blog – planets and their meaning, zodiac signs and their meanings, and house meanings. That seems like a more natural place to plug in the info on Chart Rulership. So, for today – let’s take a look at the MC/IC axis.
Our MC/IC Axis is the line that cuts the chart in half (vertically), and it’s formed by the cusps (fancy word for beginning) of the 4th and 10th houses.
The MC or Medium Coeli (often referred to as our MidHeaven) is Latin for “middle of the sky.” It sits at the very top of our chart and represents the zodiac sign that was in the highest point of the Southern Hemisphere at the time of our birth. (Remember, the Southern Hemisphere is the top half of the chart and represents what was visible above the horizon line or AC/DC axis.)
The IC or Imum Coeli (often referred to as Nadir) is Latin for “bottom of the sky.” It sits at the very bottom of our chart and represents the zodiac sign that was in the lowest point of the Northern Hemisphere at the time of our birth.
Now, let’s talk a little about what these points on the chart tell us about ourselves…
The MC, tells us all about our public persona. Being at the highest, most visible point both in the sky and in our charts, it makes sense that this point on the chart speaks to who we are in the public eye, career goals, and status. To think about our MC Mission, when I’m looking at my own chart I like to say to myself, “I am a professional (insert your MC sign here).” Or, if I’m interpreting a chart for someone else, “You are a professional (insert their MC sign here.)” We haven’t talked a lot about the different signs of the zodiac and what they represent at this point, but we’ll continue with an example of this using Beyonce’s chart to give you some idea of how this works.
Beyonce’s Midheaven is in Cancer. So, she is a professional Cancer. We haven’t talked a lot about the archetypes and associations with the signs of the zodiac yet, but for the purposes of this discussion, just know that Cancer is deeply intuitive, sensitive, and emotional and it speaks to our connection to our mother, our home, and our family of origin. This Midheaven placement talks about being ambitious for reasons related to feeling rather than traditional motivating factors (financial, etc.). A Cancer MidHeaven is a go-getter because of how it makes them feel and because of how it makes others feel.
Cancer is directly opposite Capricorn on the zodiac wheel. Remember those pairings we looked at in earlier blogs? Those apply with this axis as well. So, if cancer is on the 10th house cusp (the MidHeaven), then Capricorn will be sitting on the 4th house cusp (Nadir). So, in order to get a feel for what the MC/IS axis tells us and what kind of a flavor a Cancer/Capricorn MC/IC axis has, we need to know a little bit about the 4th and 10th houses. The 4th House in our chart is Cancer’s natural “home.” It deals with our family of origin, our home, and what we nurture. The 10th house is Capricorn’s natural “home” in the chart. It deals with our larger public persona, our career, our reputation, and our status.
Thinking about this, you can probably deduce that the MC/IC Axis tells us about where we came from (in the sense of our childhood roots) and where we’re going (what we journey towards in adult life and our eventual public persona). This axis ties the past to the present, and in a sense, it also ties our internal nature (and sense of security) to our external nature (and how we want to be perceived as a measure of security). Just like the AC/DC axis asks us to strike a balance between two parts of ourselves, so does the MC/IC. However, while the AC/DC talks more about the mask we wear when we meet people versus what we’re like in deep, intimate one to one relationships, the MC/IC examines the balance we strike between where we came from and who we are inside as a result of that upbringing versus how we project ourselves outward (think ego) into the world.
Now, back to Beyonce. As I mentioned, Cancer has a natural affinity for the 4th house and Capricorn has a natural fit in the 10th house. This is reversed in her chart. Her 10th house cusp is in Cancer and her 4th house cusp is in Capricorn. This is a tricky energy. Capricorn energy is aggressive and determined, but not impulsive, in getting what it wants. The sign relates to security, stability, authority, and practicality. So, when we talk about the 4th House being about our childhood, our family of origin, our roots, and how we were nurtured (as well as how we will likely go on to nurture things) – Capricorn is a difficult placement here. The energy is just totally opposite.
There’s a common theme with Capricorn Nadir people of not feeling super comfortable in their childhood home or family of origin. There’s a good chance one or both parents were heavy on the authoritarian aspects of parenting and perhaps left out some of the more empathetic, emotional security stuff. This doesn’t mean the person doesn’t love their family. It just means that they likely never got that emotional connection or support they were looking for as children and that they probably got a little more discipline than they wanted.
As a result, these people will often go looking for this emotional connection and positive reinforcement via their public persona (Cancer MidHeaven). Artistic careers are a natural fit for these people, as expressing their emotions via art and presenting it in a public venue is what the Cancer MidHeaven is all about.
For the various pairs of zodiac signs, the MC/IC represents the following:
Aries MC/Libra IC: As a child, the primary focus would have been on keeping the peace and balance in a household or family, a very Libra quality. These are children who do not like confrontation and are often followers rather than leaders. The issue these people are tasked with finding balance in is one of authority. Am I leader or a follower? Do I care what others think or am I ok in my own independence? As they become adults and develop their own public persona, these people will journey to find their inner sense of authority. The Aries MidHeaven is known for being assertive, aggressive, and fiercely independent. However, that Libra IC is still in them. It’s their roots. So, finetuning this blend of Libra/Aries energy will be a constant throughout their lives.
Libra MC/Aries IC: The reversal of the situation above applies here. The Aries IC speaks to a child who was placed in a position of great independence at a young age. This child likely had to take charge of more than they probably felt ready for. It also speaks to a childhood where aggression may have been a central factor. As these people grow into adulthood, the focus grows to a more Libran place, with belief in balance, equality, and sharing. Like the Aries MC/Libra IC, the central balance here is a mediation on the give and take of authority. The public persona of egalitarian Libra nature can be deceiving with these people. If you try to dominate them, be prepared for their root Aries nature to take a pivotal role in helping these people stand their ground.
Taurus MC/Scorpio IC: Like Capricorn, having secretive Scorpio on the 4th house cusp can be a very tricky placement. For people with a Scorpio IC, we’re talking about an early family situation that may have been full of secrets, dominance, and manipulation. The effects of this IC are often deeply held, psychologically, into adulthood – feelings of not being good enough, co-dependency, issues with trust, etc. Money issues with your family of origin in this IC placement are also not uncommon. The Taurus virtue of security (both financial and emotional) becomes a primary focus for these children as they move into adulthood. Not having a strong sense of trust or security in childhood urges these people to find that sense of security for themselves as adults. So, the balance these people try to strike begs questions of: Who can I trust and depend on? (Hint: the answer typically tends to be themselves.) What makes me feel financially and emotionally secure?
Scorpio MC/Taurus IC: A Taurus IC typically suggests a childhood where you were of secondary concern to the needs and values of other people. This doesn’t mean you weren’t cared for. It’s generally more of a self-imposed, inclusion thing. These people want to feel included and will contort themselves to support others in order to gain that inclusivity. These people wear a separate persona in public as children because they hold deep-rooted insecurity that people won’t like the “real them.” So, they spend their time pleasing and supporting others while wearing a public “mask” in order to achieve that feeling of being included. However, as they move into adulthood, the realization that this inclusivity is all an illusion (and is essentially meaningless since there is so authenticity to relationships where people don’t actually know each other in an authentic way) will set in. Scorpio is a deep-diving, undercover agent for truth. So, expending the energy to uphold these false relationships based on the fake will not be something that becomes feasible for Taurus IC people as they move toward the Scorpio MC in their adult personas. They need to be real and authentic with themselves at all costs, and that often means spending more time alone, as not everyone they encounter is hungry for raw honesty and truth in the same way. The questions associated with this placement on the axis are: What is the most authentic truth of a given situation? Is it more important to be a less-authentic version of yourself and fit in or to be authentic and stand alone in that authenticity?
Gemini MC/Sagittarius IC: Sagittarius is all about travel, expansion, philosophy, and what we study. Sag kind of likes to be the smartest guy in the room. People with Sagittarius in the fourth house may have felt as though they were maybe a bit smarter than their family of origin. Or that their family was somewhat simple. The interesting twist here is that, the family generally tends to be fine without this person – which can be a deep source of pain. It’s a delicate balance of wanting to be superior to one’s family, but also wanting the acceptance of one’s family at the same time. Since these people require a lot of validation and can often feel like their voice is largely not heard or is taken for granted by their family when they are children, as they grow up, they have to find their voice. So, in their adult public life, they will search for opportunities to speak their mind. They have a natural aptitude for being in a fast-paced, somewhat chaotic environment, and they are great with communicating and connecting things. Gemini MidHeavens also have a proclivity for bending the truth – they like a white lie (typically for the purpose of trying to make themselves appear more interesting to others – it’s that Sagittarius 4th House Cusp childhood trigger rearing its head.) The core issue that people with this axis will be working on throughout their lives will be questions such as: Am I enough? Am I heard? Am I respected?
Sagittarius MC/Gemini IC: Gemini is all about duality and is kind of all over the place – it’s a very scattered energy. It gets bored easily and likes constant change. Often, Gemini on the 4th house cusp can speak to a childhood in which the family or home environment was very chaotic (maybe even parents with Jekyll/Hyde tendencies.) Home would certainly carry an ever-changing or uncertain vibe. These children are often a “handful.” They just don’t yet understand to do with all that scattered Gemini energy. Also, something I’ve noticed with a lot of people who have Gemini on the 4th, they do not have an easy time with traditional school systems. It makes sense. Traditional school requires hours of focused energy and doing the same routine every day. It’s just not Gemini’s thing. So, oftentimes, a Gemini IC child can really struggle in school. This doesn’t mean they’re not smart, it means they’re being asked to learn in a way that is essentially not “them.” As adults, these people become natural teachers (a Sagittarian field). I like to think it’s a result of some of the struggles with learning they may have personally experienced as children. As adults, they will also learn to focus a lot of that Gemini energy into travel and learning, rather than being destructive (as they can tend to do as children). Questions for this axis: What do I like to learn? How do I like to learn? What things do I like to focus my energy on?
Cancer MC/Capricorn IC: We talked about this is reference to Beyonce’s chart, but Capricorn is all about authority, rules, and responsibility. Its natural home is the 10th house, and Cancer’s natural home is the 4th house. In this MC/IC axis, it’s reversed. So, this can be a tough, but powerful energy in a chart. A Capricorn IC speaks to a childhood where the child may have been pushed very hard to be perfect or to achieve. There were likely a lot of rules, and the home probably had a very authoritarian feel. These children can often feel starved for the emotional nurturing that children need to balance out all of the rules and authority being asserted over them. These children can feel like they can’t please their parents or that nothing they do will ever be good enough. As adults, there is a journey/shift toward being able to more freely express their emotions (typically in terms of art – a lot of Cancer MidHeavens become professional artists.) They use this public expression of their emotions to gain that love and acceptance that they lacked as children. They will have an amazing work ethic from that Capricorn childhood. The questions with this axis placement are: What can I create that will fulfill me? What can I share? What is the right balance of emotional nurturing versus responsibility and authority?
Capricorn MC/Cancer IC: These are the natural “homes” for the MC/IC. Capricorn likes the 10th house, and Cancer likes the 4th house. In childhood, these people experience a great deal of emotional nurturing and a sense of security from their family of origin. Sometimes this placement can suggest overbearing or very emotional parent(s). As these people move into adulthood, they crave the stability and security of Capricorn. They will feel a need to establish their own sense of “home” and “family” as well. Despite a deep need for approval (from that Cancer 4th House), the mission as these people journey into adulthood becomes one of being their own person and becoming self-sufficient. The questions associated with this MC/IC Axis are: What is authentic to me? Vs. What do I do for approval that is not authentically me? What do I want my life to look like? (i.e., What is “success” by my own measure?)
Leo MC/Aquarius IC: Aquarius on the 4th house cusp typically points to a somewhat unusual/unconventional childhood or family of origin. What’s interesting about Aquarius is that it’s unusual and one-of-a-kind, but counter-intuitively tied to community at the same time. These people were likely unconventional in a lot of ways in their childhood (Aquarius just has its own way of doing things). However, in this uniqueness, they were likely not alienated, nor were they judgmental of others (Aquarius also loves community). They are people who are strongly rooted in themselves. As they move into adulthood, they seem to settle into the realization that they have something unique (from their Aquarian upbringing) and they choose to offer it to the public in a myriad of ways. Leo loves an audience. So, as these people journey into adulthood, their career and outer public persona becomes gregarious and amplified. The questions with this axis are more or less about refinement. What is uniquely “me” that I can share with the larger public? What about myself can become “theater?”
Aquarius MC/Leo IC: A Leo IC typically comes with some feelings of not getting as much attention or approval as one craved in childhood. Leo has an appetite for dramatics and performance. So, oftentimes, even with parents who give a lot of attention, it still won’t be enough for a Leo on the 4th child. Hence, there are feelings of being dependent on the focus of others for personal satisfaction in younger years. As these people grow into adulthood, they learn a lesson in independence (a very Aquarian set of values). They learn how to be their own person for their own satisfaction. These people often find their niche in a community and are unapologetically authentic (but also kind) as adults. The major question associated with this axis is: Who determines my value – others or myself?
Virgo MC/Pisces IC: Pisces is dreamy and sometimes a little disconnected from some of the more practical aspects of life. In childhood, a Pisces on the 4th child is likely to spend a lot of time in their head, being perpetually tardy (procrastination is a big thing for Pisces), and having tendencies for being a bit on the untidy side – which typically garners some unwanted negative attention from authority figures. These children are deeply intuitive and can pick up the mood of those around them. Pisces on the 4th is not always an easy placement. These children tend to feel deeply emotionally tied to their family of origin. Pisces can have a bit of a hero complex, and our families aren’t always perfect. Pisces on the 4th children want to help everyone. As these people mature, they tend to adopt more of a Virgo persona to the outer public as a form of protection. After being reminded constantly during their childhood of the importance of practical and grounded aspects of life – being on time, keeping things organized and clean, etc., these people will tend to adopt more orderly practices in day to day life, and will strive to learn the positive lessons of being more detached emotionally sometimes. That’s not to say that these people become robots or anything – that squishy Pisces energy is still in them. They are simply learning to conserve that energy for the right people under their Virgo MC. The lessons associated with this axis are very much about learning the balance between their own feelings and the feelings of others. Also, there is much to learn about the value of being practical versus intuitive and emotional – both have their setbacks and merits – it’s about learning which is appropriate when.
Pisces MC/Virgo IC: Virgo is the great discriminator. They are absolute perfectionists, and they value order and control. So – this will be a theme for a Virgo on the 4th child. I’ve noted two main scenarios for this IC in the majority of people who have it. Typically, the child was a perfectionist and deeply craved control or the child’s immediate family were perfectionists who attempted to exert great control over the person as a child. Either way – perfectionism and control are the primary themes. As these children move into their more introspective Pisces MC adulthood, they will learn some valuable life lessons – most notably, that nothing and no one is perfect, and that no amount of control will keep you safe because none of us are really safe, and that’s ok. They will learn about the mental exhaustion that comes from trying to white knuckle their way through life. As they become more in tune with their MC, they may adopt more dreamy, intuitive, indecisive, introspective attitudes towards life as adults. Questions with this axis are as follows: What do I attempt to control? Does it serve me? What is the right balance of holding on tightly and also being able to let go and relax?
Ok folks – so that was a lot of info! But, take a look at your charts, locate your MC/IS axis, and do a little meditating on where you’ve come from and where you’re going. We’ll cover chart rulership and what each planet represents in the next blog.